Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Home Sick

It is a rainy Tuesday here in Charleston and I am home today - a surprise sick day.  After 3 naps and an extensive perusal of Facebook, I am now out of ideas.  Cabin fever is upon me.  

Read a book, you say?  No thanks, I retort indignantly.  This is the 21st century.  People living in the 21st century don't READ books anymore.

Clark and I went to Savannah last weekend.  It is a terribly romantic place and I had to rein in my compliments upon our return because there is an ongoing, quiet rivalry between Savannah and Charleston.  It is like a genteel version of the Philly/Brooklyn rivalry.  Both claim superiority for various reasons (don't ask me to go into it- when natives tried to explain the rivalry my eyes glazed over and I stopped listening).  Savannah's historic district is built around 24 small public squares, parks crawling with Live Oaks, Azaleas, Magnolias, and the occasional fountain.  The parks have commemorative statues and historical signs that orient you to the area.  I noticed that not one sign I read describes the Civil War as the "War Between the States."  Not so in Charleston.  Someone explained this to me awhile ago- South Carolina seceded from the U.S. before the Civil War began, so many South Carolinians believe the war has been improperly named.  


I haven't been blogging much lately.  Lots of reasons for this.  One reason?  Being a pastor is terribly public and sometimes putting yourself "out there" is exhausting.  Another reason?  I am constantly talking in my job.  Talking, talking, talking. Blah, blah, blah.  And when you are talking, you cannot listen.  And let's be honest.  I need to do some serious listening these days.  First, I know next to NOTHING about the complexity of Southern culture (although I'm FEELING it more and more as I read Walker Percy and Flannery O'Connor and listen to mountain-hippie music that is full of banjos and mandolins and sweet sorrow).  I need to listen these days because there is just so much I don't get.  I don't get why grown men wear pants with tiny creatures stitched into the fabric.  I don't get why sunglasses have to be worn with something called croakies.  Crockies?  I don't get why we don't talk about race or racial inequity or why we don't recycle or why EVERYONE in this state is a Republican. 

But I suppose all of this is typical cultural shock/adaptation.  And while there are a million new things I don't understand, there is so much to love.  I love the warmth, the welcome, the generosity, the small-town feel of this place.  I love drinking sweet tea, spinning a yarn, rocking on the porch.  I love the food, the palm trees, the shrimp boats, the fishing, the accent of the good ol' boys and the impeccable manners. I love that I have now received three sweet-grass baskets and monogrammed containers to store my china.

And I also love (there is a fine line between love and bewilderment) that the South is like one giant small town.  I was in a kitchen store in Savannah, looked across the room, and thought, "Why do I know that girl?"  I turned away immediately when I figured it out.  While standing in a hair-net and very little else, that woman spray-tanned me before my wedding.  Vanity o Vanity.  And with that, I bid Kitchens on the Square farewell.

1 comment:

  1. hysterical - glad you wrote 'cause your lovely words always make me chuckle